Chronic illness that affects bones and muscles. It is defined as a widespread disorder that is characterized by initiating pain in musculoskeletal followed by fatigue, sleeping problems, issues in memory and mood. It is a long term condition that originates pain in all parts of the body. It is very difficult for health Care professionals to understand this condition. Symptoms of fibromyalgia are very similar to other health problems and no specific test is there to diagnose it, so fibromyalgia is mostly misdiagnosed by the health care professionals. People suffering from this condition are more sensitive to other pains as compare to people not having fibromyalgia. According to recent research evaluation it is identified that almost 2% adult population in US is suffering from fibromyalgia. This disease is more common in women than men. Other symptoms are also related to this condition like headache, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, depression and temporomandibular joint disorder. Sign and symptoms of fibromyalgia might develop due to a physical stress, infection, any surgery, or specific psychological stress. Symptoms accumulate slowly with time without activating any event. There is no specific cure for fibromyalgia but several medications are given to treat fibromyalgia to improve the quality of life. Sometimes exercises, yoga and stress reducing parameters are also useful for treating fibromyalgia. In the past this condition was not accepted as real by doctors and other health Care professionals but with the passage of time this is now well understood to ease the treatment.
Causes of Fibromyalgia:
Cause of fibromyalgia is not yet identified by the researchers. But thoughts are given according to latest research that fibromyalgia has many hit theories are presented that includes genetic cause that is triggered by any trauma, infection or stress. Let have some closer view to these factors that influence fibromyalgia.
Infection: previous disease or illness can develop fibromyalgia and the symptoms more worse. Virus like Epstein-Barr or salmonella bacteria that cause flu and pneumonia are more likely to cause fibromyalgia
Genes: Fibromyalgia can run in families. If anyone is suffering in family with fibromyalgia in family then you are at High risk for developing fibromyalgia. Gene mutation may also plays vital role in developing this condition. Some genes are identified that affect the signal transmission between chemical pain and nerve cells.
Trauma: people undergo physical or emotional traumas are more likely to develop fibromyalgia. This condition is liked as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Stress: stress may leave effects on body that are long lasting. Stress may change hormones and this change may contribute to develop fibromyalgia.
Another theory is suggested that sometimes nerves might overreact to signals of pain.
Risk factors of Fibromyalgia:
Fibromyalgia may induce to the following factors:
- Illness like flu
- Imbalance in brain chemicals
Some other factors that might increase the risk of fibromyalgia are:
- Family history
Symptoms of fibromyalgia:
Symptoms of fibromyalgia are:
Pain: constant dull ache is most commonly associated with the fibromyalgia and it may continue for about three months. As it is the widespread pain, it happens on both side of the body as well as below the waist.
Fatigue: awaking tired in the late morning, though sleeping for more than normal is associated with fibromyalgia. People with fibromyalgia usually have problem in sleeping because of the pain that make their legs restless and apnea.
Cognitive difficulties: fibro fog is most commonly linked with symptoms of fibromyalgia that impairs the ability to concentrate, focus or disturbs in paying attention on mental tasks.
Some other symptoms that exist in combination with other conditions as well are:
- Chronic fatigue
- Interstitial cystitis
- Painful bladder
- Temporomandibular joint pain
- Postural tachycardia syndrome
- Dry eyes
- Pain in lower belly
- Muscle twitching
- Numbness in face, arm and legs.
Diagnosis of Fibromyalgia:
Doctors check 18 tender points in the past when these painful points were pressed gently. American college o rheumatology has published new guidelines that examining of tender points is not valid to diagnose fibromyalgia. If anyone is suffering pain from fibromyalgia for the past three months then it is easy for the doctors to identify fibromyalgia. For these criteria on must have pain in these areas.
- Left upper region that includes shoulder, arm and jaw
- Right upper region
- Left lower region that includes hip and leg
- Right lower region
- Axial region that includes neck, chest and abdomen
Blood tests are recommended by the doctor to check the condition an differentiate from other health conditions. Test included are
- Compete blood count (CBC)
- Erythrocyte sedimentation rate
- Rheumatoid factor
- Thyroid function test
- Anti-nuclear antibody test
- Cyclic cutrullinated peptide test
- Celiac serology
- Vitamin D
Over night sleep study is recommended when a patient is suffering sleep apnea.
Two type of strategies are suggested for treating fibromyalgia that are medication and self care. The focus is to minimize the symptoms and the general health of a patient. One treatment can’t work for the betterment of a patient and can’t minimize all symptoms only variety of treatment can work for the positive effect.
Medication: medications are recommended for treating pain and improve sleep of a fibromyalgia patient. Some common medications are:
Pain relievers: opioids are not recommended in this case because they have more side effect than curing and dependency of a patient may increase and get worse with the passage of time. So over the counter (OTC) drugs are recommended like
- Naproxen sodium
Antidepressants: pain and fatigue that is mainly associated with this condition can ease with antidepressants like
Anti-seizure drugs: these types of medications are designed to improve epilepsy and also to reduce these types of pain in fibromyalgia. To reduce the symptoms of fibromyalgia gabapentin is very useful. Where as the first drug that was approved by Food and drug administration (FDA) was pregabalin.
Therapies are used to reduce the symptoms and effect of fibromyalgia that one is suffering from. And types of therapies are:
Physical therapy: it teaches you exercise that will help to improve your daily routine.
Occupational therapy: adjustments are done at the work area by the therapist to ease your stress.
Counseling: discussion with counselor will help you to improve and strengthen your beliefs and make you strong enough to deal with stressful situations.